Last Updated:

What is a Liminal Zone

A liminal zone in natural terms is the place where two ecological landscapes meet and a new ecological zone is created, crafted, informed and shaped by both of the zones.

For example, the place where ocean meets land creates a liminal zone of the beach where plants, animals, weather are all created by the coming together of the land and sea.

Such zones have an entire life of their own, where whole species of plants, animals grow and thrive that live nowhere else.

Dreams are also liminal zones.

Dreams are the place where our consciousness and the unconsciousness meet and overlap. In this landscape, an entire world is created that has a life of its own.

Each of us has this liminal zone, and each liminal dream zone is different.

My liminal dream zone is different than yours because the landscape I bring to the dream realm is unique to me – to my experiences, my reality, my gifts, my way of seeing the world, any trauma I may carry, my beliefs about myself and the world. I am, with all of this, one ecosystem.

The person, our consciousness, is an easily identifiable element because it is us. Seen, solid, flesh.

The other element is not as easily defined – the realm where dreams originate. This place has been called many things in our human history and people have wildly different beliefs, both spiritual and otherwise, about this place. Jung called it the unconscious. Some call it the Archetypal Realm..

This ecosystem is also particular to each person, for the archetypal realm interacts and is in relationship with each of us in very different ways. For those who are religious, the tenets of the religious practice are part of a person’s practice and part of the way they face the unknown, the archetypal realm.

It is the same for those of us who have spiritual paths outside of religion or for those of us who believe in the psychological process without spirituality, for those of us who are atheist. The dreams work with us in our particularity – both with our beliefs and also challenging those beliefs when necessary.

These two realms come together in the dream. The dream informs us and we inform the realm of the dream. Just as the two ecological systems define each other. As we respond and react to the dream, the ecological system of the dream space also changes.

And as our dream landscape changes, as we are changed, challenged, supported, celebrated, loved by our dream lives, so can transformation come into our waking lives. The places where we meet the world and others.